Monday, July 20, 2015

Nate SC1

  • Chapter 1: Explain the planning process for the new FBI system "Sentinal".  How was a Gantt chart used in the process?  What is Sutherland's beef with this kind of planning?
  • The FBI had people plan every step of the Sentinal project which sounds like a good idea.  They used a Gantt chart to show how these steps will work.  This ends up failing every time though.  That is the problem that Sutherland has with this kind of planning.

  • Chapter 1: Sutherland explains the 80/20 rule: 80% of the value often comes from 20% of the work.  In the last year of FRC, what were some of the 20% jobs that added tremendous value to the team?
  • Last year, we had a few things that were very helpful that didn't take much work.  The front triangles to get in the box got made in about ten minutes at competition.  Also, the wooden triangles were a very quick fix to the problem of crooked totes.  These small jobs greatly increased the value of our robot to make it able to compete at a higher level.

  • Chapter 2: "OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act)", "inspect and adapt", and "PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)" are all getting at the same core idea.  Explain this idea and how it relates to the way a team functions.
  • These systems are both getting at the need to focus on a small part of the problem.  This calls for a plan with preparation for issues.  This would be great to be implemented on out team because we would have a plan, and we could allocate some of the time for the task for possilble issues that may be unseen in the plan.

  • Chapter 2: Explain how we would implement the paper airplane example to practice a OODA cycle at a team meeting.  What would be the point?
  • We could implement this to do two things: work on team functionality and learn to design and build pars of a robot.  With this we could be givin small tasks of things to build and we would be able to learn each time and learn better processes to build a robot.  Also, if we constantly switched up teams we would be able to learn to work with everyone on the team.

  • Chapter 3: What evidence does Sutherland bring up when justifying a focus on team improvement over individual improvement?  Do you think that should apply to our FRC team?  In what cases does it not?
  • Sutherland brings up the point that improving a team has a giant advantage in productivity improvement over individual improvement.  This would be great in helping our team get things done.  This would allow us to build our robot in a shorter amount of time.  That may also boost morale as we would actually see our families in the winter.  The only problem may be that someone may not feel they get enough credit for the work they did and get frustrated for going unnoticed.

  • End with a summary of what you learned.
  • I learned many things in this reading.  I learned it is best to do short term planning and improve as a team over improving as individuals.  This would allow for our team to become more efficient and create a better robot in a shorter amount of time.  It also explained why attempting to plan out every last detail may be a poor decision as unforeseen problems can occur.


  1. (Referring to the first question): So why does this system fail every time? What's so flawed about it?

    1. I think Nate was referring to how it is impossible to exactly follow a Gantt chart since predictions aren't perfect

  2. I agree on how you should be ready to encounter issues when planning to fix problems.